Nation & World

First day of advance voting sees big crowd in Wichita

As a line of voters snaked out of the Sedgwick County Election Office and inched closer to the main elevators in the old courthouse, voter Nancy Koenig offered these words of encouragement to those still waiting:

"It won't be long."

"It's easy."

"It's worth it."

More than 750 people cast advance ballots on Wednesday, the first day of advance voting in Sedgwick County. That's nearly double the number who voted on the first day of advance voting four years ago.

"People are ready to vote," said Bill Gale, Sedgwick County election commissioner.

Gale has said he is counting on advance voting to help shorten lines on Election Day. In the last presidential election, some voters waited two hours.

The county has far fewer polling places -- 63 now compared with 209 in 2004 -- and far fewer voting machines -- 462 now compared with 820 in 2004.

The average wait time Wednesday was 15 to 20 minutes.

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